I need a yarn-ucation

I need a yarn-ucation - not a yarn vacation.  But a yarn education.

My good friend Amy who blogs at Rooted asked me recently what I knew about yarn and about my favorite yarn.  She's learning to knit and I crochet, but yarn we have in common.  She was buying high end yarn as a gift and asked what I recommend.  I like to call this "gourmet" yarn.  And I was embarrassed to admit that I don't know the first thing about yarn, not to mention gourmet yarn - except that it costs a lot of money!

The first crochet class I took, I had purchased the cheapest acrylic yarn (in colors I loved of course).  It was hard, stiff, scratchy.  I had no idea that was bad.  My teacher proceeded to inform me that I had "bad" yarn and I had to use the teacher's yarn for the rest of the class because it was softer and could flow through my fingers and glide across the hook.  I was so embarrassed!

Since then I have made a slight upgrade to my yarn.  Still using acrylic, but softer acrylic that is more expensive by a few bucks.  I often pick Vanna White's yarn because of the color selection.  That's what I call it because her face is on the label.  But I think "Vanna's choice" is the proper name. I find it funny that these sort of B-list blond celebrities are shilling for yarn.  Debra Norville has her face on a label too. I also like "I love this yarn" and Caron super soft - also not it's proper name, but it is nice and soft!

I have looked at the gourmet yarns - you know the kind - hand dip dyed and hand spun from their very own organic sheep wool by hipster hippies living on a farm somewhere in upstate New York while the rest of us envy them.  These yarns are often incredibly gorgeous and tempting.  But pricey.  And I haven't bought any because I am cheap.  Plus I have been into these yarn eating projects that require loads of yarn.  Specifically I like to make afghans because I like combining lots of colors and I like repetition.  

I feel like I'm still in this beginner stage of crochet - I don't want to spend outrageous sums on high end yarn only to make something amateur or ugly.

My other problem is that if I let myself I would be one of those people who bought so much yarn I was buried in it like a bad episode of Hoarders.  I'm often tempted to buy yarn "just 'cause" with no clear plan to use it.  And I don't crochet fast enough to use it all!  So for now I'm trying only to buy yarn for specific projects, not just because it's purdy.

So... what's YOUR favorite yarn?  Your dream yarn? Any you'd recommend?


  1. I must say that I really got into alpaca yarn over the Christmas season. I was knitting lots of wrist warmers and turbons and such like for Christmas presents and it knitted up beautifully - snuggly, cuddly and warm. But for most other projects I am drawn by colour first. Love your blog. x

  2. I spend far too much time drooling over yarn. I have to admit though, I have a basket full of sylecraft special acrylic (£1.60 a ball!) and not much else!

    That's not to say I wouldn't love some luxury yarn. I think if I actually planned a project, rather than starting on impulse I might be tempted. I love the yarn in your picture!

  3. Thanks Victoria! I'll have to check out alpaca yarn when I need to make something cuddly like a scarf.

    Terrie - I'm glad I'm not the only acrylic gal!